Whether you feel your job interview has gone well or you have a feeling you didn’t get the job, you need to make sure that you leave the interview on a positive note. Remember that many people leave an interview feeling like they’ve blown it, only to receive a phone call a few days later offering them the job. You can never be sure what the interviewer thinks of your interview, so it’s a good idea to take every opportunity to close a job interview successfully.
The end of the interview is what your interviewer will remember best, so make sure to leave on a strong note. Here are some points to keep in mind for the close of your next interview:
1. Ask relevant, thoughtful questions.
The night before your job interview, prepare a few questions you can ask at the end—you will usually be given an opportunity. Make them relevant and insightful and ensure the answers can’t be found easily through their website or other print material about the company. If you do, they will know you haven’t done your homework. Ask questions that are relevant to the daily activities of the position. This will show your interest, capabilities, and motivation. Perhaps you want to ask if there are any professional development opportunities you could take advantage of, showing that you are willing to put in extra time and effort to improve your skills and performance with the company. This is not the time to discuss wages, benefits, or other areas of compensation—these questions should only be asked after you receive a job offer.
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2. Ask the interviewer if they require further information.
Offer the hiring manager the opportunity to ask any more lingering questions they may have. This shows you know what you’re doing and are fully prepared for them, and will also ensure that you leave the interview with your interviewers having all the information they need to make an informed decision. Find out if there is anything else required before you move on to the next step such as a transcripts, a portfolio, background check, driver’s abstract, etc.
3. Discover what the next step is.
Ask the interviewer what the next step is in the hiring process and when you should expect to receive a phone call. This gives you a good timeline to prepare and doesn’t leave you wondering when you might receive a call. Furthermore, this is a great way to show your enthusiasm for the position and your desire to work at the company.
4. Find out how you stand up against the competition.
There is no harm in finding out how many people you are up against. Ask how many other people are interviewing for this same position. Inquire as to how well you have done. You may wish to word this as, “How do I look so far in comparison to the competition?” Ask the question once and do not pressure the interviewer if they don’t want to discuss it. This tactic allows you to have an idea of how you performed and whether or not you will advance. Plus the interviewer will appreciate your frankness and openness. You can also learn from feedback and use that at your next interview.
5. Restate your interest in the position.
There is nothing wrong with saying how much you want to work at this particular company. Don’t beat around the bush and let the interviewer guess as to whether or not you want to work there. By closing out your interview with enthusiasm and interest, you’ll leave a good lasting impression.
6. Offer a firm handshake.
Smile, make eye contact, and firmly—but not too aggressively—grip your interviewer’s hand. If more than one interviewer is present, it’s best to shake everyone’s hand. This shows professionalism, etiquette, and potential for being a good example for your staff as well as a good team player. Regardless of the position you are applying for, this is the correct way to end any interview.
7. Say thank you.
Thank the interviewer(s) for the opportunity to convey your passion for your field and for the specific position with the company. Remember, they didn’t have to offer you an interview, but they did. Make sure you let them know it is appreciated.
8. Leave a business card.
This is a great way to give the interviewer easy access to your contact information. It is also a little and constant reminder of who you are. If the decision maker looks at that card even once or twice, they will have a better chance of remembering you; thus ensuring that you stand out amongst the competition.
9. Send a thank you letter.
No, this is not done while you are still in the interview, but it is a crucial step that follows. These documents are a polite way to say thank you for the opportunity and pleasure of an interview. Also, this is an effective method to once again highlight your outstanding qualifications, passion for your field, and convey your enthusiasm for working for that particular company.
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